Rivals Allen Park Cabrini and Riverview Gabriel Richard held their latest meeting on Saturday at Ford Field as part of the Catholic League’s start to their week-long Prep Bowl festivities. The Pioneers from Richard extended their recent success over their rival Monarchs with a 44-3 victory.
Saturday’s win gives Richard (7-1, 3-0 CHSL Intersectional I) five consecutive wins in the all-time series against Cabrini (3-5, 0-3 CHSL Intersectional I), their longest winning streak in the rivalry since winning 10 in a row from 1992-2005.
Richard controlled the game from the opening kick. They were up 2-0 two plays into the game after a botched Cabrini snap bounced through the back of the end zone for a safety. The Pioneers then promptly scored five of their six touchdowns before halftime.
The Pioneers’ Nick Szczechowski opened up the second half with an 80-yard kickoff return for a touchdown to make it 44-0. Cabrini salvaged its lone points of the game on the ensuing drive, a Daniel Misovich field goal from 25 yards out. That score was set up after two Richard personal fouls on the kickoff followed by a 30+ yard pass from Nicholas Ballas down the sideline to Jackson Stanley.
Ivan Hernandez converted on all six of his point-after tries for Richard. Hernandez also came up short on a 46-yard field goal attempt late in the first half. Pioneers coach Thomas Michaelsen was pleased with the way his team started the game to set the tone early.
“The first quarter was exactly how we wanted it,” Michalsen said. “To take care of business and get everyone in to play here at Ford Field is huge. Most importantly, we leave here healthy and get ready for next week’s conference championship game.”
Richard in next week’s C-D Division Prep Bowl Championship game (Saturday, Oct. 26 at 2:30 p.m.) at Eastern Michigan University will take on perennial power Clarkston Everest Collegiate (7-0). The Pioneers lost a 36-35 thriller to the Mountaineers in last year’s C-D Division Championship of the Prep Bowl.
The two schools have split their four all-time meetings since Everest began playing varsity football back in 2013. Michalsen says those prior matchups can play into preparing for the latest contest but only so much.
“It factors in a little bit,” Michalsen said. “But every year, especially at the smaller levels, there are new players and new identities. That can make it more tough. We went and watched them (on Friday, Everest beat Royal Oak Shrine 27-14). They’re a very good football team, it is going to be a really good game.”
“They’re a very good football team,” Obrycki said. “They are so well-coached and disciplined, (Michalsen) is doing a great job over there. Today they started out strong in all facets. They can play inside and out, they can pass, they can run, and the defense has talent.
“You want to see improvement, and it starts with fundamentals,” Obrycki continued. “Things like blocking and tackling, we didn’t do either very well today. And that is where it falls on me to coach them up more. We have some injuries but that happens, it is part of football.”
Cabrini’s Week 9 opponent is still TBD.